Stay up to date with the latest news from the Aldingbourne Trust
We are thrilled to share that Aldingbourne Trust's WorkAid and Seasoned Venues have launched an exciting new partnership. They will provide valuable paid work experience training placements within the hospitality and catering sector for people with disabilities. Their mission? To empower those to discover their unique strengths and skills, ultimately identifying promising industry talents.
Managing Partner at Seasoned Venues, Graham Turner, shared "We are really excited to be partnering with the team at Aldingbourne Trust. Our skills training programme has been carefully designed as part of our social goodness manifesto to give those with learning disabilities and autism the skills, confidence and work experience necessary to find paid employment and hopefully make a difference in the local Chichester community."
Ashleigh, Lorraine, and the Chichester Cathedral's Cloisters Café team are kickstarting this collaboration by offering a comprehensive 4-week programme. Participants will be able to explore various roles in their bustling café, including front-of-house positions, kitchen porter roles, and cheffing.
From October onwards, they're planning a monthly running of the training scheme, working with one participant at a time. Each person will have access to support from a specialist WorkAid Employment Consultant to assist with their interviews, onboarding and progression. A dedicated work buddy will also serve as a mentor, providing essential peer support throughout their learning journey. At the end of the placement, participants will receive guidance on effectively utilising their newfound skills when applying for roles within the sector in the future.
Candidates have already felt a significant boost in their confidence during the initial round of interviews. They can't wait to get stuck into developing their practical skills alongside the Cloisters team over the coming months. Gemma will be the first programme starter, and she said, "I can't wait to get started! I am looking forward to bringing things out to the customers and improving my customer service skills."
Seasoned Venue's commitment to spreading Social Goodness extends beyond just helping those we support; it is shaping the future generation of catering professionals to create extraordinary food and drink experiences. But together, we are building a valuable step into catering careers for many people who would otherwise find it extremely difficult to access jobs in the sector. All while showing our local communities how sustainable recruitment can work at its finest.
For more information about WorkAid, please visit www.supportedemploymentwestsussex.org
Written by Lizzie Williams and Rachel Benson
On September 9th, 2023, Sarah Mitas, Manager at MAKE@Aldingbourne Enterprises, and Lara Kynvin organised the inaugural "Let's Get Talking About Suicide" in Victoria Park, Portsmouth. In a world where suicide remains a largely unspoken topic, together, they are determined to drive change.
Navigating the sensitive and often taboo subject of suicide, they strengthened positive awareness, mental well-being, and community unity. There was live music, a physical zone featuring yoga, fitness, mindset maintenance, and dance, and a well-being zone offering meditation, comedy laughter sessions, music, and poetry. More than 45 local support services rallied at Victoria Park. Downtown Pompey was one of them who shared their appreciation for the day by saying, "Thank you for having us! Sprinkling Queer Joy across the city is such an important part of the work supporting LGBTQ+ (and all communities)!"
Dignitaries such as the Mayor, Mayoress, local councillors, and members of the public came by in their hundreds. Feedback and impact reports are already pouring in, with one organisation noting that four people approached them for help on the day. 'Andy's Mens Club' saw six additional attendees at their social meet-up as a result of Saturday's event. They are now receiving support instead of suffering in silence.
We are immensely thankful for the local media who got behind us through pre-event radio interviews and extensive press coverage before and after. 'Film 4 U' documented the journey from the event's inception earlier this year through execution and now as we plan what's next. While the editing process is ongoing, we can already tell you it's going to be an incredible watch.
Collaboration is underway with Portsmouth City Council, and there's unanimous agreement that this should become an annual tradition. As such, preparations are being made for next year's event scheduled for September 7th, 2024. For now, though, Sarah is planning monthly "Keep Talking" Workshops, open to the public and held at various locations, including MAKE. These will feature guest speakers from supporting organisations, signposting resources, and well-being and physical zone workshops. Quarterly meetings for "Let's Get Talking About Suicide" are also in the works, providing a platform for networking and planning the 2024 event to keep these vital conversations alive.
Written by Lizzie Williams
Before we know it, the kids are back at school, and we find ourselves wondering where the time has gone. Yet, looking back, we can't help but marvel at six packed weeks of Summer fun at the Country Centre. From the first splash of 'Wet & Wild', we ensured that every moment, regardless of the weather, was an adventure.
This year, we introduced several new events. 'Music Mayhem' got everyone grooving, 'Bubble Bonanza' filled the air, and 'Rainbow Run' brought buckets of foam whilst rainbow morphs ran riot! We also enjoyed hosting 'Little City South Downs', a mobile role-play experience where little ones get to 'be' grown-ups. From hairdressers to firefighters, builders to café owners. There are no limits!
But it's the Knucker Dragons who have been a central theme this year as we tell their story, starting with the arrival of Knucker Dragon eggs at Easter and dragon encounters in May. Now, it was time we invited our young visitors to become fearless knights and protect these magnificent creatures. Through various workshops, they immersed themselves in medieval adventures.
Megan, one of our Annual Members, shared her 'Great Day Out' with us, saying, "We visited the crafting marquee and loved that there were instructions on making everything a young Knight would need. Together, we created a shield and a sword and were ready to head to the Woodland Knight School. The young knights were initiated into school and got to try out archery, sword fighting, jousting and an assault course! Thank you for creating such wonderful memories for us all."
We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to you, our incredible visitors, dedicated vendors, and passionate staff members. Your enthusiasm and commitment brought magic to every moment. But the thrill doesn't end here! Halloween is just around the corner... stay tuned for more details coming soon.
Written by Lizzie Williams